Learning from Colleagues about Healthcare IT Implementation and Optimization: Lessons from a Medical Informatics Listserv
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Communication among medical informatics communities can suffer from fragmentation across multiple forums, disciplines, and subdisciplines; variation among journals, vocabularies and ontologies; cost and distance. Online communities help overcome these obstacles, but may become onerous when listservs are flooded with cross-postings. Rich and relevant content may be ignored. The American Medical Informatics Association successfully addressed these problems when it created a virtual meeting place by merging the membership of four working groups into a single listserv known as the “Implementation and Optimization Forum.” A communication explosion ensued, with thousands of interchanges, hundreds of topics, commentaries from “notables,” neophytes, and students – many from different disciplines, countries, traditions. We discuss the listserv’s creation, illustrate its benefits, and examine its lessons for others. We use examples from the lively, creative, deep, and occasionally conflicting discussions of user experiences – interchanges about medication reconciliation, open source strategies, nursing, ethics, system integration, and patient photos in the EMR – all enhancing knowledge, collegiality, and collaboration.
KeywordsListserv Electronic medical record Implementation Social networking Health information technology
The authors gratefully acknowledge those who granted permission to quote their listserv postings from http://communities.amia.org/implementation, the contributions of the Forum members, the volunteer analysis team’s inspiration, and the work already accomplished to create a database of educational resources. We also are grateful to Donald Schnader of IVR Care Transition Systems for his very helpful technical expertise.
Conflict of interest
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